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ChatON, Samsung’s iMessage Competitor, Arrives In App Store

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Remember ChatON? The Samsung-built, cross-platform, mobile messaging app which arrived in Google’s Android Market this fall? The app, somewhat similar to BlackBerry’s BBM or Apple’s iMessage, provides users with an alternative to SMS or MMS.

At the time, Samsung was promising support for iOS would be coming “soon.” Well, “soon” has arrived. ChatON is now available for download from iTunes.

That brings ChatON support to three platforms: Android, Bada phones and now iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch). Samsung says that BlackBerry, Windows Phone and web support is still on the way.

For a refresher on ChatON’s feature set, the app lets users message each other, sharing text, pictures, voice messages, location, contacts and calendar data. There’s also a crazy option that lets you draw pictures by hand. Group chat is included, too, and involves a social element that ranks how often you talk to your friends on the app.

The interface seems OK. (Well, maybe a bit juvenile with that big ol’ smiley button. But then again, I’m old). The real draw is the app’s cross-platform nature – instead of using expensive SMS allotments, you can use an app instead. But ChatON competes with several others in this space, including GroupMe, which has the benefit of supporting SMS for those who don’t have the ability to run the app on their phones.

ChatON, however, may get a boost thanks to its creator Samsung who has the ability to pre-install the app on the devices it ships.

You can grab ChatON for iOS here on iTunes.